I have sinned. Not once but many times. This was during my Avatar as a restaurant guy. My sin is similar to what lot of people do in that domain but it still is a sin. Haven’t you ever ordered food from a restaurant and waited for food at home. You get hungry and angry at the same time when food does not arrive on time. You call up the restaurant guy and he promptly tells you that it will be delivered in 5 mins. The proverbial indian 5 mins which can last for any duration. I have done the same with so many customers when I was running Potluck.
I knew it was wrong but I still did it. I had no ways of predicting and figuring out where my staff was. Tough for me to figure out the location of my staff as well as my customers. Now we decided to change things in ZopNow. We do know that great logistics is a key piece to solve the eCommerce puzzle and we are hell bent on solving that. We are enabling GPS tracking on all deliveries and also enabling our customers to see where the delivery is in real time on a map.
Hope you enjoy this new feature.
I know it worked if you have come here. Learnt this trick from a friend. A catchy subject line ensures that you do read rest of the stuff. Anyway I never had a religion so no chances of changing it. I lost my religion long time back when I went through religious texts of almost all religions. Anyway that is not the topic here. I did adopt few more relegions and some of them are changing.
I became a restauranter on 1st Jul, 2006. That was the date when I decided that I will get into building a restaurant. I had no idea at that point what it takes. I was edgy, nervous and lost. But then we did make it live on 10th Mar, 2007. We went through opening 3 restaurants although we had to close few of them due to various problems faced. It has been a very interesting journey although I can not call it very successful from a financial perspective. But the experience has been so enriching.
Another journey I started was Asklaila in Oct, 2006. Over the years we build a great business on Internet as well as mobile. Building a brand in consumer Internet space has been a very rewarding experience. Indian Internet space has grown by leaps and bounds and it was a constant challenge to keep up the pace.
These two journeys come to an end for me as I move on to do more things in life. I am closing my last restaurant in BTM and also moving on from Asklaila in terms of active responsibilities. I will still be open to cooking teaching assignments and also continue to be adviser to Asklaila.
Now few things about the new venture. The first task I did was to find a partner who is 10 times smarter and can work 100 times harder compared to me. I found a very capable company in Mukri. We worked together in Amazon and he was certainly great inspiration as well as source of knowledge for me. OK Mukri dude, now remove that Bihari gun from my head. This is the most I can bullshit about you.
Let us talk more about our new venture. The name is ZopNow. If you didn’t click on the link, let me tell you we are building a startup in grocery ecommerce space. We realized that this is a space where customers are willing but businesses have not been able to get their act right. And obviously we do feel that we are the right set of guys to get the act right.
Big business is built on a customer pain point and somebody’s ability to solve it with an interesting and innovative solution.
Get back to building stuff dude…..
We have been organizing lot of non-commercial meetups in our restaurant. I thought I will just offer it to a larger audience. If you are looking for a venue for your non-commercial and non-personal meetup, just drop me an email on [Eat] at [potluck] dot IN and I will try to workout things for you. We should be able to accommodate up to 70-80 people on our restaurant terrace garden. I might be able to also provide some free snacks and beverage depending on the nature of event. Please feel free to pass on the information to your friends in Bangalore.
Just few things to keep in mind
- No alocohal or non-veg in our premises
- Hope you are not charging the participants any money for the event
- We are conveniently located in 16th main, BTM 2nd Stage
- Lot of street parking available around this area
- We don’t enjoy hosting caste/region/religion based meetups ( certainly not free of cost )
Here are some photos from Social Media Club Bangalore chapter tweetup.
We had a lovely republic day. We celebrated it with chocolates and great food cooked by lot of housewives. The chocolate stall was handled by Geetika and she did a fabulous job of explaining everybody how to make chocolates and we had some extremely creative versions of chocolates
1. Crispy corn flakes chocolate
2. Mint Chocolate made using Polo
3. Coffee Chocolate
If you need the recipes, you just need to write to me.
Besides that we had an innovative cooking competition where 17 housewives participated with amazing enthusiasm. They cooked some amazing dishes. Our customers voted and Mrs Pacheesiya from Mantri Paradise emerged to be a clear winner. She made a Mix Veg ( Au Gratin Style). Second prize was won by Shaloo Agrawal and the third by Yukti from Mantri Paradise. Our sincere thanks to all the cooks as well as everybody who helped us manage the event.
Some photos to ensure that you don’t miss it next time.
We are cooking up something special for you this Republic Day. You started the lazy morning with the parade watching on TV and now time to catch up on food. Just come over to Potluck in BTM.
We are organizing a Curry Queen Contest where you can taste a variety of curries cooked by housewives. You can vote for the stuff you like and and the winner gets attractive prizes from us. If you want to participate, do let us know.
Besides this we are also organizing a chocolate making workshop. The workshop is conducted by Noah’s Show ( http://www.noahsshow.com ). Learn how to make yummy chocolates and taste them too.
Here are our FB links to confirm participation or drop us an email on eat [at] potluck dot in.
The big day is coming soon…. maybe next week.
The panels are all filled up with ply now.
The furniture is in from the old place.
The tools of the trade.
The chimneys for the kitchen.
I don’t know how to write recipes the traditional way so my style will be more conversational. If you are looking for ingredients, time to cook, preparation method type of sections, I am sorry. Cooking is not a industrial process but an art. Something which you got to do with love, affection and passion.
I have a different take on making Stuffed Capsicum. The traditional way of making gravy based capsicum I guess makes you forget capsicum completely. I strongly believe that the key ingredients should stand out in whatever you cook instead of hiding their taste and aroma.
Take big capsicums and take out the bottom part which has all the seeds. Don’t throw it away but keep it aside. For the stuffing you have many options. One key ingredient is boiled potatoes and you can miz it with different things. You can add grated Paneer to it or you can add grated vegetables like Gobhi, Carrot etc. Use boiled potatoes as a base and mix some more vegies along with it. Obviously you got to add some salt and you can add a little bit of mango powder also to this. Another interesting flavor you can add to the stuffing is by roasting some Jeera ( Cumin seeds ) on a tawa and adding it. I do not favour adding any oil to the stuffing as we will be using oil at a different place. One thing you should not forget is that add the seeds you took out of capsicum in the first step to the stuffing. This is what will ensure that the taste of capsicum stays with your dish.
Now fill up the capsicums with the stuffing and stuff it real hard so that you do not leave any space inside. Now you have two options. If you have a oven at home you can just put a little oil on top of these capsicum and bake them or the other option is to slice them and put them on a non stick Tawa. Fry it for around 10 minutes with little oil. Cover the tawa with a lid for faster cooking. You can put a little bit of oil on the tawa with cumin seeds on tawa before you put the capsicum. The cumin seeds will get embedded in the stuffing and taste great.
Before you serve you can decorate it using some cashew, onions and carrots. The sliced Stuffed capsicum can be served as a starter as well as a dry subzi.
Let us start with disclaimers first….. I claim no expertise ( although I might have some ) in the areas I am trying to put fundas about.
So here is my research topic, people across the word are trying to figure out, what works for their customers who come in different shapes and sizes. What are the aspects of a product which makes them click and what makes them not click. So I thought let us learn from something which appears to be totally related in the first view but I am sure you will realize the inter links soon.
Food, yes all of love having it everyday and we have been doing it for ages as a species. Even before languages developed and society became so complex that you needed to hire a consultancy company to tell you common sense. Human food habits have developed over ages and some of the food items have become more universal then others. What I will try to understand is that what makes a food universal and how we can use that knowledge in other domains.
So let us start with the first universal food. French Fries. Let the french and belgians fight over it’s origin but that is the way word knows it. Why has french fries become so popular across the world. In my opinion the reason is simple, health and taste do not go hand in hand. Most of the tasty things are not healthy and combining potatoes with oil is a very unhealthy ( and therefore tasty) combination. This is a dish which appeals to basic instincts of each individual to consume unhealthy and tasty food. Obviously I can not take anything away from MacD for making it popular across the world but ability to appeal to basic instincts of mankind has been one of the primary reason for making this popular across the world.
My next stop is in Italy. Yes I am talking about Pizza. Across the world Pizzas sell like crazy and are loved by kids and adults. So what is there in Pizza which makes it so universal. In my opinion it is due to the flexibility offered by the Pizza to mean so many tastes to so many people. I am sure 90% of the world eats a version of Pizza which most of the italians will not even call it a distant relative of original Pizza. But every one is happy with their own Pizza. My personal favorite is Wooster Street Pizza with jalapenos and pineapple as toppings. What makes pizza great is that it means so many different things to so many people.
Just to summarize my learnings from food for other businesses….
- Build something which solves a fundamental problem. In a complex societies like ours we have a multi tier hierarchy of needs but the closer you get to the bottom of the pyramid, better the probability of scaling it to a larger audience
- Be adaptable and flexible on the product content if your goal is to reach out to a large audience. All your users will not perceive you as the same product but an ability to adapt to their needs and perceptions is an important aspect.